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Repayment of joining bonus and special bonus

Querist : Anonymous (Querist) 25 April 2022 This query is : Resolved 
Respected Sir,

Need your help as I'm facing a financial crisis beacuse of a sudden decision by my company to seperate me from the company showing the fact of my performance.

I joined the organization in 2021 june and I have received a joining bonus of 50 thousands in the first month pay which has a lockin period of 12 months(I am completely aware of this.) However in October 2021 the organization has surprised me with a special payout of 2 lakhs showing the facts as demand for skilled employees is more and they have issued this as a retention bonus but they never added the word ''RETENTION BONUS" where the email was with the subject of "Special Pay-Out". (I will add the email clause in the end). When I joined the organization I was hired on one specific skill set but I was thrown to a project where I have to work on a different skill set which I found hard and I was slow with getting adjusted to it. And then I was marked for a PIP (Performance improvement plan) with a 45 days notice, they did not find improvement after that and asked me to leave the organization. I acknowledged this and I have agreed for the same to leave the company within 12 months joining it. After 40 days of leaving the organization I got email stating that I have to repay the 2 lakhs and 50k joining bonus to get my relieving cum experience letter. Please guide me to face this. I am adding the email clauses and few conditions from my offer letter which might be relavant.

Special payout email extract:

We have always ensured competitive salaries for our associates including increment, promotions, and bonus pay-outs in 2020 and 2021. How ever the talent market today is very volatile for various reasons - there is pent up demand owing to lack of hiring
& pay outs last year and increased demand for digitization. As a market correction, we are pleased to announce a payout of 4 lakhs to be paid in two equal installments at a gap of twelve months in October 2021 and October 2022. The payouts are subject to you being on active India rolls (i.e., not on notice period) at the time of pay-out. Each installment has a lock-in of 12 months from the pay-out date. This pay-out is over & above all other pay outs and increments as per your employment. Needless to say, we will continue to ensure that your pay-outs are increasing in line with your performance, company’s performance, and market conditions.


ALSO few conditions in the offer letter are:

1. Additional Payout (if applicable): You will be entitled for a one-time joining bonus of INR 50000 /- (Fifty Thousand only).
This shall be disbursed through first payroll after your joining. There will be a lock in period of Twelve (12) months from
the pay-out date. In case of separation / exit within the lock in period, you will be required to pay back this amount.


2. Termination:
Subject to the retirement and the probation clauses, either party may terminate this employment at any time by
giving a written notice of two successive months to other party or the payment of salary in lieu of the notice period.
In case a shorter notice period is decided by the mutual consent, the payment of salary in lieu of the notice period
shall be commensurate with such shorter notice period. However, please note that accepting any such shorter notice
period would be entirely at the discretion of Organization.

[Sub clause of Termination tab] If you fail, refuse are unable to perform your duties or responsibilities or have been negligent, or if there is a
consistent lack of performance at your end, and/or you fail or refuse to follow any express orders or are unable to
meet the targets/goals prescribed for you by Organization.


3. Return of Organization's property and / or any amounts / advance received:
Upon termination or expiration of your employment for whatever reason or whenever requested by Organization, you shall
immediately deliver to organization all property in your possession or under your control belonging to organization or its parent,
subsidiaries and affiliates, including but not limited to all confidential or proprietary information and trade secrets
and all equipment in good condition (ordinary wear and tear expected). Any sums payable by Organization to you shall be
subject to return of Company’s property in good condition, failing which company shall have the right to deduct the same
from the amounts payable to you or demand reimbursement thereof. Additionally, company will be entitled to adjust
any amounts paid to / received by you from company, from the amounts due and payable to you upon termination.





Dr J C Vashista (Expert) 26 April 2022
Be brief and specific to avail obligation of experts on this platform.
krishna mohan (Expert) 26 April 2022
I think they are invoking termination clause. You demand two months compensation if no notice period is given or reply to them that you will work for 12 months from the date of pay out referred to even in other projects.
P. Venu (Expert) 28 April 2022
Having terminated you, the company cannot seek the bonus paid to you. It is unlikely that the employer would succeed if they approach the court of law.


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